Watermelon is not only a thirst-quenching fruit on a hot day; it can also help you stay healthy. Research shows watermelon to have many health benefits especially helpful to men. Packed with vitamins and minerals, watermelon can have several positive effects on the body.
Watermelon is an excellent source of potassium, vitamins C and A, and contains a high concentration of beta-carotene. Red watermelon rind also contains the phyto-nutrient citrulline, which has health benefits such as increased blood flow throughout the body. The inside of a watermelon is about 92 percent water. The remaining 8 percent has the highest concentration of lycopene found in any fresh fruit or vegetable. The health benefits of watermelon are abundant, especially for men.
Researchers once believed that lycopene was only in tomatoes, but the watermelon holds the highest concentration of lycopene in any fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene has known antioxidant qualities to keep the skin, heart, and prostate healthy. In a study conducted by doctors at The University of Illinois at Chicago, test subjects ingested lycopene for three weeks before undergoing a scheduled prostatectomy. The results showed significantly diminished damage to the prostate tissue by the end of the three-week trial.
Watermelon rind contains a high concentration of a phyto-nutrient called citrulline. Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, has researched citrulline, finding it to have several health benefits. One benefit is the ability to relax the blood vessels, much like drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. When ingested, citrulline boosts nitric oxide levels, which relaxes blood vessels to increase blood flow throughout the body. While the cause of erectile dysfunction can involve a variety of psychological and physiological issues, an increase in blood flow can help in mild cases.
Lowers Blood Pressure
In a study conducted at The Florida State University, Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi found in giving watermelon extract to nine subjects with hypertension for six weeks, each showed lower blood pressure at the end of the study. The phyto-nutrient citrulline allows for increased blood flow in the body, which can help with hypertension. Figueroa also stated that patients could potentially ingest lower doses of antihypertensive drugs when paired with citrulline found in watermelon.